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  • Common Core defeats two bills in House committee Play Video

    April 2, 2014 11:05 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Two bills that were supported by Governor Jindal and would have changed the foundation of the state's Common Core failed to get out of the House Education Committee Wednesday. Representatives denied both HB 381 and HB 558 in a 12 to seven vote. HB 381... more »
  • Following error-filled state audit, school system will perform its own

    March 20, 2014 9:35 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board voted Thursday night to run its own audit following one done by the state that found serious issues. Auditors said student records had serious errors and found evidence of diploma fraud. But, at the meeting, BESE and state... more »
  • Education board backs $3.5B school funding formula

    March 13, 2014 4:32 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has approved a $3.5 billion school funding formula for next year to recommend to state lawmakers. The financing plan was backed in a 7-2 vote Thursday, over the opposition of local school superintendents and boards. Local school leaders say the... more »
  • BESE delays decision on $3.5B school funding plan

    March 7, 2014 12:35 PM

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15. BESE members said Friday they wanted more time to work on the spending proposal, which would pay for the operations... more »
  • BESE backs overhaul of La. career-track diploma

    March 6, 2014 2:37 PM

    BATON ROUGE- A redesign of Louisiana's career-track diploma has received overwhelming backing from members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Superintendent of Education John White's proposal centers on high school students getting job skills certifications to earn their diploma if they don't intend to go to a four-year... more »
  • BESE member indicted for theft, fraud

    January 17, 2014 1:17 PM

    SHREVEPORT - A DeSoto Parish grand jury indicted Walter Lee, a member of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, on Friday for theft and fraud charges. The indictment accused Lee of two counts of felony theft, a count of public contract fraud, and a count of malfeasance... more »
  • St. George supporters blamed for cheating claims Play Video

    January 15, 2014 4:18 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A group defending the East Baton Rouge Parish School System blamed supporters of the proposed city of St. George for cooking up allegations of cheating within the school system. Superintendent of Education John White said the state is investigating the school system over allegations a student... more »
  • Cheating allegations raise concerns for BESE Play Video

    January 14, 2014 6:04 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A BESE representative is upset after what they said was lack of communication over allegations of cheating at East Baton Rouge Schools. Lottie Beebe says she was highly disturbed to find out the East Baton Rouge School System is being investigated for allegations of cheating on... more »
  • BESE backs changes to public school financing

    January 14, 2014 12:43 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The state's top school board is supporting proposals to change the way it divvies up $3.5 billion in annual funding for public schools. Nearly all members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education backed recommendations Tuesday from a task force that reviewed the funding formula.... more »
  • Common core standards two years away from classrooms

    December 3, 2013 5:48 PM

    BATON ROUGR- The controversial common core standards are coming to classrooms but not for two years. The state school board backed a two year delay tied to the phase in of stricter educational standards. Those two years will give the board time to sort out what those penalties... more »
  • BESE supports change in shift to tougher standards Play Video

    December 3, 2013 3:49 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's state school board has backed a two-year delay for some consequences tied to the phase-in of more rigorous educational standards, called Common Core, at public schools. Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday overwhelmingly supported the changes pushed by Superintendent of Education... more »
  • Common Core changes go to BESE

    December 2, 2013 3:03 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Local school boards and public school superintendents are asking for a slow-down of Louisiana's shift to toughened educational standards. The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday will consider changes sought by Education Superintendent John White to the roll-out of Common Core standards. White is... more »
  • State to review teacher evaluations

    October 18, 2013 6:28 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The state plans to do a review of a key part of Louisiana's controversial new evaluations for some public school teachers. The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education directed Executive Director Heather Cope, in consultation with state Superintendent of Education John White, to come up... more »
  • BESE tweaks Common Core

    October 16, 2013 11:40 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has tweaked its regulations governing the state's shift to tougher testing and educational standards. BESE's decision Wednesday to make adjustments to its rules for use of the Common Core came a day after the board heard five hours of testimony... more »
  • BESE hears Common Core concerns Play Video

    October 15, 2013 5:06 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisianians continue to look for common ground concerning the Common Core State Standards. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) is hearing concerns from parents and teachers at their meeting Tuesday night. Some parents at the meeting said they've taken their kids out of... more »
  • BESE to consider funds for 'Course Choice' program

    June 18, 2013 10:39 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The state education board is being asked to allocate $2 million for a pilot program to expand online high school course offerings to public school students. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education considers Tuesday the funding plan for the "Course Choice" program to begin in the... more »
  • Senators reject new school funding formula

    May 21, 2013 11:41 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Senators have killed a $3.5 billion public school funding proposal submitted to lawmakers by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Senate Education Committee voted Tuesday to reject the formula, because of concerns about proposed changes to special education and gifted student payments to schools. The... more »
  • BESE drops plan to change rules

    April 17, 2013 9:21 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's top school board has dropped proposed new rules that public school counselors and librarians said would diminish their roles and hurt students. Both state Superintendent of Education John White, who initially pushed the changes, and Chas Roemer, president of the state Board of Elementary and... more »
  • BESE approves K-12 funding plan Play Video

    March 7, 2013 6:14 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved Gov. Bobby Jindal's school funding formula for the 2013-2014 school year, which protects his school voucher program. Last year a judge ruled the funding formula unconstitutional. That case is on appeal with the state Supreme Court. ... more »
  • BESE considers 2013-14 school funding formula

    March 7, 2013 10:36 AM

    BATON ROUGE - State education officials heard a briefing this morning on the school funding formula for the 2013-2014 school year. Superintendent of Education John White held the teleconference at the start of BESE's regularly scheduled meeting. News 2's Mike Steele is at the meeting and will have... more »
  • 2 BESE appointees leaving the board this month

    January 18, 2013 4:22 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Two of Gov. Bobby Jindal's appointees to the state's top school board are leaving the positions, and the governor has tapped his former chief of staff to fill one of the vacant spots. Penny Dastugue of Covington and John Bennett of Port Allen announced Friday that they... more »
  • BESE agrees to do away with some school mandates

    January 16, 2013 10:58 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has agreed to shrink the number of mandates required of local school districts, despite concerns it would let school districts eliminate school counselors and librarians to cut costs. Superintendent of Education John White proposed changes to 150 different sections of... more »
  • Tweaks planned for teacher evaluation system

    January 16, 2013 4:44 AM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is expected to approve modest changes to the state's method for evaluating public school teachers, after a board committee backed the ideas. The changes were recommended by Superintendent of Education John White, tweaking a system that links half a teacher's... more »
  • New guidelines for the pre-K system Play Video

    December 5, 2012 5:24 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Changes are coming to the state's lagging pre-kindergarten system. Today the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted unanimously to approve a set of guidelines that will hold pre-K centers more accountable. With these guidelines, pre-K centers will be responsible for the performance of their... more »
  • BESE agrees to pilot program for Pre-K grading

    December 5, 2012 2:43 PM

    BATON ROUGE- The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is moving ahead with plans to grade publicly funded prekindergarten and early childhood education programs. The board Wednesday agreed to Superintendent of Education John White's framework for complying with a new law that calls for the development of a common... more »
  • Decision on school mandates pushed back to January

    December 5, 2012 7:49 AM

    BATON ROUGE - The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has delayed a decision on shrinking the number of mandates required of local school districts. Superintendent of Education John White proposed getting rid of the statewide school calendar, changing physical education standards to allow credit for extracurricular activities like... more »
  • BESE moves ahead with 'Course Choice' program

    December 4, 2012 2:20 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The state's top school board has backed nearly four dozen organizations to offer courses to Louisiana's public school students through online classes and other nontraditional means. The decision comes despite a judge's ruling that the program's planned financing is unconstitutional. Superintendent of Education John White recommended 45... more »
  • BESE approves accountability plan for vouchers

    July 24, 2012 2:34 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Louisiana's top education board has backed accountability standards suggested by Superintendent of Education John White for the private schools that will get taxpayer-subsidized students through the voucher program. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 9-2 Tuesday for the criteria. Schools in the voucher program that hit... more »
  • State education leaders support effort to create new SEBR school district

    April 12, 2012 10:10 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Members of the BESE board, that oversees public schools across the state, say East Baton Rouge Schools are troubled, and they applaud any effort to do something different, even if it's parents doing something on their own. Baton Rouge member Chas Roemer says what's worked for breakaway... more »
  • Bills to overhaul early childhood education advance

    March 21, 2012 2:21 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Two bills that would overhaul the state's early childhood education programs are advancing through the capitol. The full Senate approved SB 581. The House education committee approved HB 933. Supporters say both bills require BESE to set goals for children to make them more kindergarten ready. ... more »
  • BESE considers 2012-13 school funding formula

    February 27, 2012 11:01 AM

    BATON ROUGE- The state's top education board is considering a $3.4 billion public school funding formula that would keep spending per student flat for a fourth straight year. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is holding a Monday special meeting to talk about the proposal, which is supported by... more »
  • Dobard named new Recovery School District Superintendent

    January 18, 2012 11:36 AM

    BATON ROUGE - There is a new leader for the state's struggling schools. Patrick Dobard was named the new superintendent of the Recovery School District by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education today, taking the place of the new BESE Superintendent John White. The nomination came from... more »
  • BESE picks White as new La. school superintendent

    January 11, 2012 1:54 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's public education board is hiring Recovery School District leader John White as state education superintendent. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted Wednesday for White, who Gov. Bobby Jindal had heavily pushed for the job. The vote came only two days after the board's... more »
  • BESE leader: No national search for superintendent

    November 29, 2011 1:56 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The head of the state education board doesn't expect a national search for candidates to be state education superintendent. Penny Dastugue, president of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, says she expects any search would be brief, if there is one. Dastugue says BESE... more »
  • Hundreds interested in job as EBR schools chief

    November 11, 2011 3:23 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The chief executive of the firm searching for the next East Baton Rouge Parish school superintendent says hundreds of people have started the application process for the position, but none have completed it. Gary Solomon, head of PROACT, the search firm, tells The Advocate potential applicants... more »
  • White stays mum on education superintendent job

    November 7, 2011 5:19 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's pick to be Louisiana's next education superintendent says it's not appropriate to talk with education board members about the job until the Nov. 19 election is over. John White, head of the state-run Recovery School District, says he's focused on his current position... more »
  • New money vs. old muscle in education races

    October 17, 2011 12:05 PM

    NEW ORLEANS - Big money is being spent on campaigning for seats on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education - unsalaried posts that usually draw far less attention at election time. Candidates backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal and various business interests in Saturday's elections are getting the... more »
  • BESE member facing DWI charge

    September 22, 2011 3:22 PM

    NEW ORLEANS - A state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education member facing re-election next month was arrested in New Orleans earlier this year on suspicion of drunk driving. Louella Givens was arrested in February, according to a police report. Givens did not return a call to The... more »
  • Judge backs BESE in charter school dispute

    August 12, 2011 3:07 AM

    BATON ROUGE- A state district judge in Baton Rouge has rejected a bid by the Pelican Educational Foundation to win back the right to manage Abramson Science and Technology Charter School in eastern New Orleans. The Abramson campus is now being run by the Recovery School District. The state Board... more »
  • Pelican to square off against BESE over revoked charter

    August 11, 2011 5:41 AM

    BATON ROUGE- The battle continues over a company whose charter was revoked by the State Board of Education. Pelican Educational Foundation will square off against BESE again today. Pelican says a judge needs to overturn BESE's decision to revoke their charter. This comes after allegations of rape and... more »
  • BESE revokes charter of N. O. school operator

    August 3, 2011 4:27 PM

    BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's education board has revoked the license for the operator of a New Orleans charter school, only the fourth time a charter has lost its contract with the state. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 7-1 Wednesday to end its charter arrangement with the... more »
  • BESE to discuss investigation of charter school

    August 3, 2011 5:30 AM

    BATON ROUGE- The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will meet today to talk about suspending a charter school run by Pelican Educational Foundation. Louisiana's education board is considering how to handle the continuing investigation of Abramson Science and Technology School in New Orleans. Allegations of rape and... more »
  • Caps on education salaries scuttled by senators

    June 16, 2011 2:51 PM

    BATON ROUGE - A House-backed attempt to cap salaries for Louisiana's education superintendent and college leaders has been quietly undone by state senators. The Senate Finance Committee removed the cap provisions as senators crafted their plans for the 2011-12 state budget. No mention was made of the removal during... more »
  • US education chief calls in La. superintendent search

    May 18, 2011 11:49 AM

    BATON ROUGE, La. - U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has inserted himself into Louisiana's debate over its next school superintendent. At least two state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education members say they have received calls from Duncan about John White, the newly hired leader of the Recovery School... more »
  • Gov. Jindal wants status quo spending for K-12

    February 15, 2011 5:41 PM

    BATON ROUGE- Governor Bobby Jindal says Louisiana's public schools will not face the massive budget cuts some agencies are dealing with. His proposed plan leaves the formula for funding K-12 the same. An increase in the number of public school students means the plan will still take more of... more »
  • BESE votes for new biology textbooks

    December 9, 2010 5:37 PM

    BATON ROUGE - State school officials voted unanimously Thursday to go with new biology textbooks that have drawn controversy for not including criticisms of evolution. The full Board of Elementary and Secondary Education took up the issue this morning after the textbooks were recommended by a sub-committee which voted... more »
  • Update: BESE votes for new biology textbooks

    December 9, 2010 12:37 PM

    BATON ROUGE – State school officials voted Thursday to go with new biology textbooks that have drawn controversy for not including criticisms of evolution. The vote by BESE was unanimous. The full Board of Elementary and Secondary Education took up the issue this morning after the textbooks were recommended by... more »
  • BESE to vote on controversial textbooks today

    December 9, 2010 11:45 AM

    BATON ROUGE – State school officials are expected to vote today on new biology textbooks that have drawn controversy for not including criticisms of evolution. The full Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is taking up the issue after the textbooks were recommended by a panel which voted 6 to... more »
  • New biology textbooks closer to approval

    December 7, 2010 5:20 PM

    BATON ROUGE- A panel of the state education board has approved new biology textbooks for Louisiana high school students. That clears the way for the entire Louisiana Board of Secondary and Elementary Education or BESE to vote on final approval Thursday. A committee made up of teachers and... more »
  • La. school grading system temporarily stalls

    December 7, 2010 3:39 PM

    BATON ROUGE - The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is divided on the development of a new letter-grading system for Louisiana's public schools. State lawmakers are requiring BESE to devise a system that assigns letter grades from "A" through "F" to schools based on their performance in the state's... more »
  • Recommendations for Recovery School District announced

    December 6, 2010 10:05 AM

    BATON ROUGE- State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek will give his finalized recommendations for the future of the Recovery School District during a stop today in New Orleans. Pastorek's office says it's a revision of the initial recommendation presented to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) in... more »
  • New biology textbooks spark controversy

    November 16, 2010 5:59 PM

    BATON ROUGE - New biology textbooks for public schools have sparked debate after a textbook committee voted 8-4 in favor of recommending the books to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Some believe the books should include the information about controversies surrounding ideas that are widely accepted in... more »
  • BESE eyes new graduation policy

    August 19, 2010 6:07 AM

    Louisiana educators are about to draw up uniform policies statewide for students who plan to graduate from high school in less than four years. The issue stems from a new state law designed to make it easier for public school students on an accelerated track to finish high school in... more »
  • La. to reapply for Race to the Top money

    April 16, 2010 3:30 AM

    Louisiana isn't giving up on federal grant money for school reform after missing out in the first round. The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted Thursday to support a rewritten application to "Race to the Top". Another $175 million is available through the federal program. The money... more »
  • BESE proposes increase in school funding formula

    March 10, 2010 1:38 PM

    The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has proposed a nearly $3.4 billion funding formula for public school districts. That amount is $72 million more than the funding proposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal in his budget for next year. In a 6-5 vote Wednesday, BESE backed a formula... more »
  • State cuts maximum number of unexcused absences

    September 19, 2009 1:31 PM

    The state is cutting the maximum number of unexcused absences high school students can take to 10 days a year. Public schools across the state currently allow students to miss up to 15 days. The new policy was approved Thursday. A member of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and... more »
  • Lawmaker disappointed over implementing career diploma

    September 15, 2009 2:51 PM

    A Louisiana lawmaker says he's disappointed that the state's top education officials have not moved faster to implement a new high school curriculum and diploma. Rep. Jim Fannin, a Jonesboro Democrat, scolded members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday. Fannin said he's disappointed that the... more »

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